Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections

"Joel M. Halpern" <> Sat, 23 January 2021 21:11 UTC

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Subject: Re: NomCom 2020 Announcement of Selections
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From: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Date: Sat, 23 Jan 2021 16:11:51 -0500
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One small aspect of this conversation struck me as needing 
clarification.  there is repeated reference to re-appointing incumbents.

In my view, and I think this is also the view the community has 
expressed, there are significant differences among reappointing 
incumbents who have served 1 term, 2 terms, and three or more terms. 
While sometimes frustrating, I do understand and generally support the 
bias in favor of reappointing incumbents who have done a competent job 
and only served on term.  In contrast, at best it indicates community 
problems when we are reappointing incumbents who have already served 
three terms.


On 1/23/2021 1:31 PM, John C Klensin wrote:
> --On Saturday, January 23, 2021 14:48 +0000 "Salz, Rich"
> <> wrote:
>>    *   And - if the problem is that the nomcom selected without
>> sufficient weight given to diversity, then considering a
>> selection that would have made Rich appointed (that's the
>> opposite of disappointed, right?) with the result is a
>> reasonable request in response to Rich's stated disappointment.
>> I assume you're making a joke about "the opposite". But
>> to be clear, if Nomcom picked me instead of Carl, the end
>> result would have been the same, of course, and I would still
>> be disappointed. One mitigating factor is that my
>> questionnaire was public and I tried to show how diversity is
>> an ongoing moral concern for me and people could bring it up
>> if I did not follow through.  It's possible that all other
>> IETF Chair candidates feel the same, of course, and I'm not
>> saying they don't, just that we don't know.
>> If I were picked, however, I'd be unlikely to say anything
>> because I have to work closely with the rest of the slate, and
>> starting off by saying "I'm disappointed this is who we
>> have" would be stupid, for hopefully obvious reasons.
> Indeed.  But that is almost equally true if you expect to
> continue to work in the IETF (which I hope and assume you will)
> if you posted your preferred slate with the implication that you
> think your candidates would be better choices --on a one by one
> basis -- than those selected.  In addition, I think we are
> better off moving forward to improve on things for the future
> rather than poking at the details of what might have been.   See
> below.
>>    *   Throwing our hands up and saying "it involves people, we
>> can't talk about it" is way problematic if we intend to do
>> more than wring our hands and cast generic aspersions of
>> systemic sexism and racism at the IETF.
> I hope nothing I said sounded to you like your quotation above.
> At the risk of casting a different soft of vague aspersions, too
> much decision-making over the years (inside and outside the
> IETF) has been contaminated by personal resentments and
> animosities.  Avoiding doing things that might encourage more of
> them seems like a reasonable precaution.
>> We can talk about it without commenting on specific people.
> Exactly and that is the core of what I was suggesting.  The idea
> of opening comments to the next Nomcom now was only intended as
> a supplement for those who really did feel a need to comment on
> individuals.
>> For example, having a very finely-tuned random number
>> generator used to pick volunteers from a self-selected pool
>> doesn't change the fact that every picked volunteer will be
>> self-selected. Having jobs that most people think require four
>> years to be able to do correctly, means that people are
>> unlikely to volunteer if they see an incumbent's name on the
>> list.
> Right.  And having job descriptions that can be satisfied only
> by those who either (i) work for large organizations that are
> willing to give up most of their time for that period while
> supplying salary, travel, and other support or (ii) who has
> independent means they are willing and able to dedicate that way
> also rather significantly affects who is willing to volunteer...
> and the diversity of the volunteers.
>     john